In the world of competitive and thriving markets, financial governance and clear regulations are essential. This helps protect the government and ensures to maintain reliability and trustworthiness.
As more businesses take the financial market, innovation can appear to prioritize other fundamental business considerations. The process can be too complex. Hence, many seek the help of professionals. This is where Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) compliance comes into the frame.
FCA compliance is a kind of reality check for businesses offering different financial services. It is responsible for regulating all the financial services in the UK.
This regulation helps the business with healthy competition in the market and increases the overall integrity of the financial services.
Today, we will discuss the FCA services and how you should prepare for FCA.
Who Need To Be FCA Approved?
While FCA is an important document to have, it is not necessary that every business will need one. Yes, every business can have one to solidify its credibility, but not every business will need one to operate.
Any business that intends to carry out activities specified by the Regulated Activities Order 2001 or Payment Service Regulation 2017 must obtain FCA.
Here are a few business operations that need to have FCA authorization. If your business has any one of them, then you would need FCA.
- Money institutions.
- Wholesale investment firms.
- Payment service institutions.
- Insurance intermediaries.
- Any financial services.
Generally, firms that are associated with regulated activities such as accepting deposits, issuing digital money, managing investments, or dealing in the trade market, need to be FCA authorized.
How Should You Prepare For FCA?
The FCA expects the firms to take the process seriously. They want companies to take into account that everything will meet the standard of FCA protocol. When a company applies for the FCA, FCA divides them into three categories.
The FCA will consider an applicant READY if they have been preparing to submit the application. Here are the positive indicators you need to be aware of.
- Making inquiries of the FCA’s contact centre.
- Reading information from the FCA’s official website.
- Seeking legal compliance.
- Directing your regulatory obligations.
Once the phase of READY is offered, the FCA will consider the WILLINGNESS with these positive indicators.
- Being proactive in getting information on FCA.
- Be honest in your dealings with FCA.
- Demonstrating efforts to understand the FCA regulations.
- Availability of the staff to deal with inquiries.
The FCA considers you as ORGANIZED if you have prepared yourself with all the necessary documents for the applications. For instance, FCA might consider –
- The reason behind your application.
- What might act as a barrier to prevent you from doing what you have applied for?
- They see if you will be able to comply with the rules if you are authorized.
FCA’s Threshold Conditions
The FCA’s threshold conditions are set on a minimum requirement. If a business wants to be qualified for the FCA, it must meet these base minimums. Failing to meet these minimum requirements, your business will fail to achieve FCA.
The threshold conditions are as follows.
- Business model.
- Appropriate resources.
- Location of the office.
- Effective supervision.
After your application Is Submitted
After your application is submitted, FCA goes through the document to determine whether you meet the minimum requirement. The authorization is namely READY, WILLING, and ORGANIZED.
FCA expects the application to have all the necessary information about the business, business module, business operations, and everything to keep things transparent. This also helps the FCA determine the application and give consent.
After going through the application, if FCA feels like substantive changes need to be done, they can ask you to take back your application and make the necessary changes.
Finally, you must keep a close eye on your permission. The Financial Services Act 2021 allows FCA to modify your permission. This happens when FCA finds that you are not using your authorization properly or have diverted from out after getting the authorization.
So, avoid applying for the regulated activity that you won’t need. It will only add to your business complexities in the future. Instead, apply for FCA when you know everything about it.
How Long Does It Take To Obtain FCA?
The timeline for applying to the FCA and registration are set by the FCA. It is not a speedy process, as your business is evaluated on different levels. Depending on your business size, it can take six months or even a year.
So, instead of thinking about how to fasten the process, you must focus on preparing the right document and business modules.
Have queries? Drop them in the comment section. We will ensure every query is answered.